DEC accompanied the US announcement of the VAX 8250, 8350 and 8530 last week with major price adjustments on the top-end models of the 8000 series, and flew in the face of industry trends by raising prices on the four top models. As mentioned briefly yesterday, the 8600 and 8650 are excluded because they are effectively dead, being right off the current price-performance curve for the rest of the line. Examples of the new prices show the 8500 with 16Mb, RA81 456Mb disk, tape, Ethernet and one year licences for VMS and DECnet up 15% at $336,000. The 8550 with 32Mb and the same peripherals is $464,000, up 16.5%. The 8700 with 32Mb and the same peripheral complement rises 13% to $546,000, and the 8800 VAX-cluster building block with 48Mb and cluster interface rises 17.1% to $787,000. The company is also – riskily – raising more software prices, this time the MicroVMS operating system for the MicroVAX II. The three to eight user licence rises a hefty 50% to 6,000, with nine to 16 users 117% to $13,000, and for 17 or more users 125% to $18,000. But, in a move that will put the burn on add-on memory and peripheral suppliers – though DEC denies that is the intention – it cut the RA81 disk drive 15.8% to $16,000 and add-on memory 25% to $1,500 per Megabyte.
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